Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theology Driven Intentional Ignorance and James 5:19-20

I was speaking with several non-LDS Christians in downtown Salt Lake City who were attacking the LDS view that a person can lose their salvation. It happens when one intentionally walks away from their covenants, and decides to lead a life without God. Dallin Oaks gave a wonderful talk in 1998 entitled "Have You Been Saved?" which perfectly explains the LDS position, and compares it to the Born Again Christian perspective.

There are practically an endless number of verses which could be cited to show this is possible (Gal 5:4; Hebrews 10:26; 1 Tim 6:9-10).

I however discussed just one passage with these folks: James 5:19-20

19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Oh my gosh, the gyrations people make to avoid the plain meaning of these two verses, it was fun to watch.

First, the word "err" means to "Wander". Coupled with the preposition "apo", from, in Greek grammar it means to wander from whatever the object of the phrase is, which is the starting point of origin. In this case, it is to wander from the truth to the non-truth.

The effect of wandering from the truth is death, says verse 20. Some commentators actually say this is in reference to a premature physical death! Right. The illogic of such a position is easy to demonstrate. But unless they make that assertion, James is providing explicit refutation of the doctrine of Eternal Security.

James refers to converting the one in "err" as saving a soul or life. Fine. But the word "convert" and "converteth" are both the same Greek word. It means to "turn back". So the context is that turning back one who has left the truth can save their soul/life.

The word "soul" is "psyche", and it can be translated as "life", but with a significant restriction in meaning. It means the vital force or energy which provides animation to our life. It is not the existence we have on earth. (See Bauer, BDAG, pg 1099, definition of "Psyche", number 2.d. which cites the specific verse in James 5:20, "as the seat and center of life that transcends the earthly.") Bauer further states that the "death" mentioned which the psyche suffers is a "2. death viewed transcendently in contrast to a living relationship with God, death extension of meaning 1." It then states: "a. of spiritual death, to which one is subject unless one lives out of the power of God's grace." It then cites James 5:20 by stating, "This death stands in the closest relation to sin: Romans 7:13b; James 1:15; 5:20;..." (bold in the original to set off Biblical verses).

So the position that this could be about a physical death is not sustainable from the text.

As a clincher, I left out one verse. James only uses the word 'psyche' one other time: James 1:21
21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Notice the exact same context as James 5:19-20. The only consistent and justifiable interpretation of James 1:21 is that the "soul" is "saved" in an ultimate salvation sense. James then ends by charging us with helping to save the souls of those who did first have the truth, but have gone astray.

This is solid, rational and reasonable interpretive reading of scripture. Once-saved, always saved types cannot agree with it because it conflicts with their theological perspective. As the one commentator I cited above who asserted the "death" suffered by those who wandered from the truth was due to living a dangerous life-style, they asserted:

Of course, there are some who suggest that eternal salvation from hell is in view here. That suggestion, however, flies in the face of clear Gospel teaching all through the Bible. The sole condition of eternal salvation is faith in Christ, not moral reformation.

The wanderer who is brought back to the truth avoids premature death (cf. 1 Cor 11:30;1 John 5:16-17).
I will leave it to the reader of this blog to look up the verses cited in supposed support of this view. The interesting issue is dismissing the clear, explicit teaching in James due to interpretive gymnastics base solely on theological pre-suppositions and bad exegesis.

One advantage of engaging critics on the street in a face to face manner is that if they are honest people, and many of them are, they eventually must concede they cannot find support for their "once saved, always saved" view in any plausible workaround of James 5:19-20. So it was. One lady named Diane kept saying that as a Mormon I was putting a burden on people by each of us having to take responsibility for our own salvation by being able to lose our salvation to bad behavior. So I asked her to explain what possible meaning James could have. Her answer: I don't know, but it doesn't mean what you say it does. After which, she left.

Another man simply said "I am not prepared to answer, I don't know."

If one's interpretation of scripture is based on their theology and not the actual meaning of the writings of scripture, whence came their theology?

Mormon doctrine of Grace and personal convenantal relationship with Christ is the only viable explanation for all verses of the Bible. When we discuss doctrine, Mormonism is the only answer because the scriptures are their source of theology.

33 comments:

ElderChild said...

What of the numerous and varied systems of religion?

History, ancient and up until this present moment in time, has proven that multiplied millions have been enslaved, killed, and been killed in the name of the god(s) of this, or that, religion ;-(

And so it is that the fruit of death is born of religion's way,

Because life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

That is but one of a multitude of reasons why "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of", and especially so because of those systems of religion that declare that they are biblically based!

Pagan catholicism, her multitude of harlot christian('jesus') daughters, mormons, pentecostals, all muslim sects, and the mutitudes of judaic systems, all propagate lies, delusion, deception, confusion and every evil work!

Was not biblical religion established for a "disobedient and gainsaying(greedy,covetous) people" who were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears"? Those who would rather "a man speak to them than YHVH", and who wanted "a man to rule over them rather than The Only True GOD"?

"Our Father", HE knew and HE yet knows the desires of a man's heart!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Why would Faith create a system of religion?

What of The Faithful?

And what are brothers and sisters of the same Father if not Family?

And are not The Faithful the children of GOD(Our Father)? "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Ephesians 3:15)

And are not those of and in "The Family of GOD" but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", because they have realized "their citizenship(Life) is in Heaven"?

Why would "aliens and pilgrims" create a system of religion?

Why would they love this world, it's things, and their own life in the world?

And The Call yet resounds, "Come Out of her, MY people!"

"Come Out" of the systems that are of this wicked, evil world(babylon) and especially it's systems of religion!

Be of those who "forsake all, yes, and their own life also", just as The Messiah did!

Be in , yet not of this wicked world indeed and Truth!

Have your portion in, and be of The Family of GOD!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......(1 John 5:19)

Thankfully Truth IS, a lie never was and it not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

Big Mac said...

One thing to keep in mind with the letters of the New Testament is that that most of the letters in the New Testament are written in the format of a Greek essay. This means the authors argue a position by discussing both sides of a philosophy and then demonstrate proof that their point is the reasonable one. They never intended for individual verses or phrases to stand alone. These statements in James cannot be snatched out of context and properly understood. So, to comprehend what James is saying in these verses, they must be read in context and with a literal understanding of the actual words used. My well-worn old King James Version of the Bible, used while growing up as a Mormon, has verses in James underlined and colored red. Bam! There it is! James 2:20: "O Vain Man,...faith without works is dead..." In fact, that whole section in James 2:17 - 22 appears to support the Mormon viewpoint. Mormons imprint on those few verses and fire them off every time the good news about grace comes up. In Greek, the word used is: ergon (or more commonly ergo), and basically means, to act, work, or do. That's pretty simple. Work, ergo, is just another word for actions or acts. James is saying this very thing. Don't pretend to be a Christian, and then act like the worldly people. Don't kiss up to the rich people at church and then treat the poor badly. (James 2:1-8) That's not how our faith leads us to act. That's not the love our Jesus showed us. Be merciful and kind to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick--this is true religion. Love God, and love others, on this hangs all the law.
James pleads with the people to let their lives exemplify the love of God; he balances call to action with a warning: "Whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10) James is making it clear that legalism isn't the answer. Believing God and acting according to that faith is the answer. Our actions reflect our faith.
What are we, as Christians, asking Mormons to give up when we ask them to study James as a whole instead of singling out certain verses? We are asking them to give up the idea that they can earn their way up to the Celestial kingdom where God lives by following rules and regulations. More than that, we are asking them to give up the idea that they are worthy. This is a hard humiliating thing. It is painful to face the fact that we are failures without God. It is emotionally wrenching to have to thump our chests and say, "I am a sinner." We want to think we are better than that. It is a natural and fleshly desire to believe we are better than other people.
Sadly, the home truth is: we aren't, I'm not, and neither is anyone else. All have sinned. Good news--we no longer have to live in the shameful shadow of our sins. We don't have to try to pretend we don't sin. We don't have to fear the next time we fail. As James says, "mercy has triumphed over judgment." (James 2:13) Jesus has covered believers in His own beautiful righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His blood covered the mercy seat and satisfied payment for all of our sins--past, present and future--completely.
But there is a catch. It's the trust, belief, faith clause. That is the work God expects, that we believe in Him. (John 6:29). That is the price of freedom. Is there any doubt that when we submit to this--when we humble ourselves enough to say, "I can't do this God, I tried to do it, but I fail time and time again. You, oh Lord, only you can take my sin away. You, alone, can make me holy and righteous. Do it for me Jesus."--that we will raise our hands to heaven, our hearts overflowing with gratitude and love?


Conclusively, the message of James is that works are a result of salvation, not a means to it.

Big Mac said...

Now, one thing to keep in mind with the letters of the New Testament is that that most of the letters in the New Testament are written in the format of a Greek essay. This means the authors argue a position by discussing both sides of a philosophy and then demonstrate proof that their point is the reasonable one. They never intended for individual verses or phrases to stand alone. These statements in James cannot be snatched out of context and properly understood. So, to comprehend what James is saying in these verses, they must be read in context and with a literal understanding of the actual words used.

My well-worn old King James Version of the Bible, used while growing up as a Mormon, has verses in James underlined and colored red. Bam! There it is! James 2:20: "O Vain Man,...faith without works is dead..." In fact, that whole section in James 2:17 - 22 appears to support the Mormon viewpoint. Mormons imprint on those few verses and fire them off every time the good news about grace comes up. In Greek, the word used is: ergon (or more commonly ergo), and basically means, to act, work, or do. That's pretty simple. Work, ergo, is just another word for actions or acts. James is saying this very thing. Don't pretend to be a Christian, and then act like the worldly people. Don't kiss up to the rich people at church and then treat the poor badly. (James 2:1-8) That's not how our faith leads us to act. That's not the love our Jesus showed us. Be merciful and kind to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick--this is true religion. Love God, and love others, on this hangs all the law.

James pleads with the people to let their lives exemplify the love of God; he balances call to action with a warning: "Whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10) James is making it clear that legalism isn't the answer. Believing God and acting according to that faith is the answer. Our actions reflect our faith.

What are we, as Christians, asking Mormons to give up when we ask them to study James as a whole instead of singling out certain verses? We are asking them to give up the idea that they can earn their way up to the Celestial kingdom where God lives by following rules and regulations. More than that, we are asking them to give up the idea that they are worthy. This is a hard humiliating thing. It is painful to face the fact that we are failures without God. It is emotionally wrenching to have to thump our chests and say, "I am a sinner." We want to think we are better than that. It is a natural and fleshly desire to believe we are better than other people.

Sadly, the home truth is: we aren't, I'm not, and neither is anyone else. All have sinned. Good news--we no longer have to live in the shameful shadow of our sins. We don't have to try to pretend we don't sin. We don't have to fear the next time we fail. As James says, "mercy has triumphed over judgment." (James 2:13) Jesus has covered believers in His own beautiful righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His blood covered the mercy seat and satisfied payment for all of our sins--past, present and future--completely. But there is a catch. It's the trust, belief, faith clause. That is the work God expects, that we believe in Him. (John 6:29). That is the price of freedom. Is there any doubt that when we submit to this--when we humble ourselves enough to say,"I can't do this God, I tried to do it, but I fail time and time again. You, oh Lord, only you can take my sin away. You, alone, can make me holy and righteous. Do it for me Jesus."--that we will raise our hands to heaven, our hearts overflowing with gratitude and love?


Conclusively, the simple message of James is that works are a result of salvation, not a means to it.

Big Mac said...

Now, one thing to keep in mind with the letters of the New Testament is that that most of the letters in the New Testament are written in the format of a Greek essay. This means the authors argue a position by discussing both sides of a philosophy and then demonstrate proof that their point is the reasonable one. They never intended for individual verses or phrases to stand alone. These statements in James cannot be snatched out of context and properly understood. So, to comprehend what James is saying in these verses, they must be read in context and with a literal understanding of the actual words used.

My well-worn old King James Version of the Bible, used while growing up as a Mormon, has verses in James underlined and colored red. Bam! There it is! James 2:20: "O Vain Man,...faith without works is dead..." In fact, that whole section in James 2:17 - 22 appears to support the Mormon viewpoint. Mormons imprint on those few verses and fire them off every time the good news about grace comes up. In Greek, the word used is: ergon (or more commonly ergo), and basically means, to act, work, or do. That's pretty simple. Work, ergo, is just another word for actions or acts. James is saying this very thing. Don't pretend to be a Christian, and then act like the worldly people. Don't kiss up to the rich people at church and then treat the poor badly. (James 2:1-8) That's not how our faith leads us to act. That's not the love our Jesus showed us. Be merciful and kind to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick--this is true religion. Love God, and love others, on this hangs all the law.

James pleads with the people to let their lives exemplify the love of God; he balances call to action with a warning: "Whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10) James is making it clear that legalism isn't the answer. Believing God and acting according to that faith is the answer. Our actions reflect our faith.

What are we, as Christians, asking Mormons to give up when we ask them to study James as a whole instead of singling out certain verses? We are asking them to give up the idea that they can earn their way up to the Celestial kingdom where God lives by following rules and regulations. More than that, we are asking them to give up the idea that they are worthy. This is a hard humiliating thing. It is painful to face the fact that we are failures without God. It is emotionally wrenching to have to thump our chests and say, "I am a sinner." We want to think we are better than that. It is a natural and fleshly desire to believe we are better than other people.

Sadly, the home truth is: we aren't, I'm not, and neither is anyone else. All have sinned. Good news--we no longer have to live in the shameful shadow of our sins. We don't have to try to pretend we don't sin. We don't have to fear the next time we fail. As James says, "mercy has triumphed over judgment." (James 2:13) Jesus has covered believers in His own beautiful righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His blood covered the mercy seat and satisfied payment for all of our sins--past, present and future--completely. But there is a catch. It's the trust, belief, faith clause. That is the work God expects, that we believe in Him. (John 6:29). That is the price of freedom. Is there any doubt that when we submit to this--when we humble ourselves enough to say,"I can't do this God, I tried to do it, but I fail time and time again. You, oh Lord, only you can take my sin away. You, alone, can make me holy and righteous. Do it for me Jesus."--that we will raise our hands to heaven, our hearts overflowing with gratitude and love?


Conclusively, the simple message of James is that works are a result of salvation, not a means to it.

Big Mac said...

Now, a question for you Bob: Have you done “all” you can do for salvation?
The book of Mormon contends, “…for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” —2 Nephi 25:23

Consider this: “Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve gave the following illustration to show how Christ’s atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our part. ‘Let me tell you a story.… There once was a man who.…incurred a great debt.…the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full.… The debtor had a friend. He came to help.…He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer. ‘I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.’…And so the creditor agreed. The mediator turned then to the debtor. ‘If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?’ ‘Oh yes, yes,’ cried the debtor. ‘You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.’ ‘Then,’ said the benefactor, ‘you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible.” —Gospel Principles, 1992ed, pp. 75, 77

According to Mormonism, Jesus refinanced the sin-debt we owed Heavenly Father. It is now up to us to repay Jesus by complying with the “laws and ordinances” of the gospel. Have you done “all you can do” to pay your sin-debt to Jesus? Are there any commandments you have failed to obey?

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”—James 2:10

Big Mac said...

Another question for you Bob... have you achieved perfection “in this mortal life”?

The Book of Mormon states,“…for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”—1 Nephi 3:7

Spencer W. Kimball states in The Miracle of Forgiveness (pp. 208-209) the following: “This progress toward eternal life is a matter of achieving perfection. Living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation through that perfection which comes by complying with the formula the Lord gave us. In his Sermon on the Mount he made the command to all men: ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:48) Being perfect means to triumph over sin. This is a mandate from the Lord. He is just and wise and kind. He would never require anything from his children which was not for their benefit and which was not attainable. Perfection therefore is an achievable goal.”—The Miracle of Forgiveness, 1969, Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 208-209

Now, some more quotes to consider from this book:
“Perfection…is an achievable goal.” It is a command from the Lord. Jesus said, “be” perfect. He did not say, “become” perfect. Perfection is not a process; it is an event. The word “be” indicates a state of existence that must be instantaneously achieved and sustained in our mortal lives."

Kimball goes on to explain:
“One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination, an unwillingness to accept personal responsibilities now. Men came to earth to obtain their schooling, their training and development, and to perfect themselves.…And the burden of the prophetic warning has been that the time to act is now, in this mortal life. One cannot with impunity delay his compliance with God’s commandments.” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 7, 10

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”—Alma 34:32
Some may feel that it is unreasonable to believe that God would require total perfection in this mortal life. After all, one might think: “‘The Lord knows my heart is right and that I have good intentions.…’ But will one receive eternal life on the basis of his good intentions?” Kimball asks.
He goes on to say:
“Samuel Johnson remarked that ‘hell is paved with good intentions.’ The Lord will not translate one’s good hopes and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself.…Men and women who live in mortality and who have heard the gospel here have had their day, their seventy years to put their lives in harmony, to perform the ordinances, to repent and to perfect their lives.” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 8, 314

Big Mac said...

Another question Bob: have you repeated a sin after asking for forgiveness?

D&C says, "“By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins —behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” —Doctrine and Covenants, Section 58:43

Another quote from the miracle of forgiveness: “There is one crucial test of repentance. This is abandonment of the sin….The saving power does not extend to him who merely wants to change his life.…Nor is repentance complete when one merely tries to abandon sin....To ‘try’ is weak. To ‘do the best I can’ is not strong. We must always do better than we can....” —The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 163-165

In your repentance, are you doing “better” than you can? Have you permanently abandoned all of the sins you have ever committed? Gospel Principles explains: “Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins.”
“Discontinuance of the sin must be permanent....the former transgressor must have reached a ‘point of no return’ to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin — where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life.” — The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 176, 354-355

“Discontinuance of the sin must be permanent....the former transgressor must have reached a ‘point of no return’ to sin wherein there is not merely a renunciation but also a deep abhorrence of the sin — where the sin becomes most distasteful to him and where the desire or urge to sin is cleared out of his life.” — The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 176, 354-355

“And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.” —Doctrine and Covenants, Section 82:7

Anonymous said...

Great topic! The New Testament talks about the christian life as running a race, or sowing seeds and reaping harvests. In fact the scriptures are crystal clear that to attain salvation, one must perservere through the ENTIRE race or reap the harvest, not just start the race or sow the seed. In fact Paul says "not that I already obtained salvation, but I strive forward for it." It is his hope and faith in the promise of Christ that one day he will attain Salvation. Which means that even Paul understood, even while he was preaching, HE DID NOT HAVE SALVATION
So, if the christian life is like running a race or farming, what aspects are there? Beginning, Middle, and End. All 3 parts make up the ENTIRE action. The "Race" or "farm" in the New Testament is actually a metaphor for SALVATION: The start, or sowing of the seed, is Justification, or "I was saved." The middle, or growing of the plant is Sanctification, or "I am being saved." The finish, or harvest, is Glorification, or "I will be saved." Justification is accepting Jesus' sacrifice, Sanctification is leading the christian life in response to what Jesus did on the cross, and Glorification is being with Christ once again. That is why Paul is always saying, as well as Jesus in the letters to the 7 churches, to PERSERVERE until the end, because it is at the end that one OBTAINS SALVATION. The biblical writers put more EMPHASIS not on the start of the race, or growing of the plant, BUT on the Reaping of the Harvest and the Prize at the end of the Race.
So, with all that being said, if you only obtain salvation at the end of the race, how can you LOSE salvation during the middle of the race? Here is the big thesis: You only have Salvation when you finish the Race. So just to be clear: The bible argues that stopping halfway through the race isn't proof that you lost something you had (Salvation), it's proof that you didn't have it to begin with.
Therefore, saying one "lost" their salvation is incorrect language, according to the biblical writers, which I have very plainly demonstrated.
So, what do we do then? The answer is simple: Finish the Race. Accept Jesus as God in flesh, taking on our sin and God's wrath in our place, and giving us his righteousness on the cross. Live in response to that. And perservere until the end, with the faith and hope that there is the greatest prize waiting for us at the finish line.

Adrian said...

I'll gladly admit that this question is entirely unrelated to the topic at hand, it's simply a matter of my own personal curiosity. If some noteworthy evangelist were to come to, say, Salt Lake City, are mormons 1)over-joyed and try to assist 2)excited 3)disinterested 4)unhappy with the idea but not openly hostile 5)greatly perturbed and willing to take nonviolent action to hinder the event?

ElderChild said...

Thankfully "GOD(HE WHO IS SPIRIT) was IN The Messiah reconciling the world unto HIMself", and as HE was IN The Messiah so also is HE in the brethren of The Messiah, except they become reprobate concerning The Faith!

Col 1:23 "If you continue in The Faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from The Hope that is The Good News, which you have heard, and which WAS PREACHED TO EVERY CREATURE WHICH IS UNDER HEAVEN(the so-called "great commission was fulfilled), whereof I Paul was made a minister."

IF! most certainly declares those who believe in "once saved always saved" are being led astray, as all who have their portion in a system of religion are!

Most certainly, "No man can pluck them out My Father's Hand", yet one can once again choose for the temporal rather than The Eternal, can choose pleasure rather than to suffer, can choose death rather than The Life!

Rightly choose The Will of Our Father just as The Messiah did!

Father Help! and HE does.......

dfresh said...

Totally disingenuous and misleading blog.

You be blowin' lotta smoke, Broh!

You absolutely know that:
Mormons do not teach " being saved" from eternal death and damnation because Mormon teaching is that all persons born are saved by the Atonement. The only ones that can lose salvation are those who sin against the Holy Spirit.

The Mormon plan is one of exaltation and eternal progression, NOT saving souls.

As for the belief that sins against the Holy Spirit are unforgivable : Peter, James and John saw Him in his glorified and exalted state but denied and abandoned Him at His execution. Yet they were given the keys to the Kingdom???????

Try again. We know what Mormonism teaches Broh....

Bob said...

dfresh,

I appreciate you read my blog, even with the name calling.

Mormons believe choices have consequences. Unlike, say, Calvinists who don't believe human choices have consequences. Therefore, people in Mormonism are truly saved, since, reading D&C 76, the Telestial Kingdom is "Hell". It is a "Kingdom of Glory" in the sense that people have their bodies and enjoy the Spirit of God, but they have rejected the testimony of Christ.
Therefore Mormonism DOES save, since it teaches the true path to eternal salvation, which is exaltation through Jesus Christ.

You don't seem to have thought through the implications of Mormonism. Humans, no matter how good, can never, ever, ever, ever save themselves from the consequences of sin. In fact, the longer we live, the worse our standing before God, if we don't have Christ.

You raise an interesting, but long ago answered point about the apostles. The Bible teaches that the Holy Ghost was not present until after Christ left. Therefore, my critical friend, how would it be possible to sin against the Holy Ghost when he is not present? Hmmm, significant problem for your little drive-by. did you really think this was a problem in the LDS faith, this situation with the Apostles? John 7:39, 14:26, 16:7. Cited many times. No problem, Broh.

One final note: I actually cite scripture. It is a little thing to you, I suspect, since you think I am disingenuous. But I actually study so that I can know.

Nice drive by. Try again on the stumper. Put a little speed on it next time. At least make it hard. :-)
Bob

dfresh said...

I'm pretty sure Holy Spirit was ALWAYS with Christ and these were in a special and priveleged situation up on the mountain. You be talkin' bout Pentecost when Spirit. became available in the world to believers after he left.

Mormon Sunday school and seminary always taught Sons of Perdition were those who had direct knowledged and denied it. You are teaching your own precepts and not Mormon official.

That 76 which is simpply unbearable and awful for me to read what Satan has written says the Telestial will be ministered by those above and eventually serve God...just not live with him... NOT eternal death and damnation. I told you.

dfresh said...

Even these telestial backsliding Mormons can go to the top eventually. Good kinsfolk can spring them immediately from Spirit Prison or Purgatory by faithful monetary contributions and participating in the temple program. EXACTLY what Martin Luther was talking about 500 years ago and my grandfathers hated and disputed and died to overturn...now it is in the world again with a clean looking corporate face. Da Debbil ain't never got no new game..no not ever.

The reason I approach this very child-like is because a person I always loved and respected knew every verse of King James backward and forward but still dabbled in Jehovah's Witness for years then LDS for years but was bitterly disappointed in the end. So I will rarely quote but read my daily scripture and attend a nothing but reading the Bible aloud worship service.

"Misleading" etc is not "name calling" but the fact of your blog compared to 20th century Mormon Sunday Schoolband seminaries. Yes it is a changin' at least publicly...not secretly...

Big Mac said...

I appreciate what you have said Bob, but it is not biblically based, and therefore, not based in truth. You had said in your last comment, "The Bible teaches that the Holy Ghost was not present until after Christ left." That is just simply not true. We see the Holy Ghost descending on Christ in the form of a dove when he is baptized. Matthew 3:16 accounts for this (although there are other verses): "16 And Jesus, when he was baptized , went up straightway out of the water: and, lo , the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him"


In this verse the Greek word that is used is Pneuma, which is the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. Now, I am not ignorant of Mormonism's false view of the Trinity which is known, theologically, as tritheism. Present day Mormonism is tritheistic- but with a twist. Mormonism teaches that there are many God's in the universe but they serve and worship only one of them. The godhead for earth is to them really three separate gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father used to be a man on another world who brought one of his wives with him to this world - they both have bodies of flesh and bones. The son is a second god who was literally begotten between god the father and his goddess wife. The holy ghost is a third god. Therefore, in reality, Mormonism is polytheistic with a tritheistic emphasis.


Of course, tritheism clearly contradicts the teaching of the Bible regarding monotheism. Isaiah 43:10 reads, "10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen : that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed , neither shall there be after me." Also, consider Isaiah 44:6, which says, "6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Or, even two verses later in Isaiah 44:8 where it says, "8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid : have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."


As far as your other comment about Calvinists go (which I am not one, by the way), you said that, “Calvinists who don't believe human choices have consequences.” This is just not true. One of the Five points of Calvinistic doctrine is "Total depravity". This doctrine, also called "total inability", asserts that as a consequence of the fall of man into sin, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin. People are not by nature inclined to love God with their whole heart, mind, or strength, but rather all are inclined to serve their own interests over those of their neighbor and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved because they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures. (The term "total" in this context refers to sin affecting every part of a person, not that every person is as evil as possible.) This doctrine is borrowed from Augustine who was a member of a Manichaean sect in his youth. Sin always has consequences, and even the Calvinists recognize this. Calvinists believe in the 10 commandments, and, quite honestly, if law does not have punishment, then it is nothing more than a slogan.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Nick
Soli Deo Gloria,
Nick

Big Mac said...

I will tell you something else. Mormonism does NOT save. Jesus alone saves us from our sin. He is the worthy lamb given for our inescapable wickedness inherent in our nature, and passed on through the generations after Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden. We are all sinners, and fully deserve the righteous and perfect wrath of God for our sins. Praise be to God that He sent his only Son to save us from our sins, and the judgment they deserve by becoming sin and dying on the cross to free us from our fallen nature.

“23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

I liked your comment, when you said, “Humans, no matter how good, can never, ever, ever, ever save themselves from the consequences of sin.” This is SO true. Bob, I may not know you but I love you. I love sinners, Mormon or not. I enjoy reading your blog, and I would enjoy exchanging ideas and thoughts about the Bible and God with you some more!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Nick

Bob said...

OK, you folks must be feeling especially hungry, since you got some eating (of words) to do:
"(When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)" NLT John 7:39
The question is not whether Jesus had the Spirit, he did without measure. The question was about how one can deny the holy spirit when it had not yet been given. It wasn't. That it was manifested at Jesus' baptism, thereby also proving the trinity to be false (that is a drive-by on my part, as I know the theological explanation offered. It still fails at many levels when we start discussing John 17:3, 22, Acts 7:55-56, etc.), is irrelevant to the discussion of whether the Spirit bore witness. It did not. It appeared.

BTW, I like the graphic. Nice. I still have not figured out how to do such things. Cool. False doctrine, but still cool.

The rest of the responses seem to have been based on this erroneous understanding of the scriptures, so I don't think, in light of

Or still don't trust me. Maybe you will take the word of the Exegetical Commentary, written by Evangelicals at Bible.org:
"It is clear from both [John]7:39 and 16:7 that the Holy Spirit will not come until Jesus has departed." http://bible.org/seriespage/exegetical-commentary-john-14

By the way Big Mac, I would love your take on Hebrews 5:8-9. Does Jesus save the believing or the obedient? If the obedient, then it is logically obvious that we must do something which contributes to our personal salvation. Thanks for your comments though.

Cheers,
Bob

ElderChild said...

What of the numerous and varied systems of religion?

History proves, and yet proves that multiplied millions have been killed and enslaved in the name of the god[s] of this, or that, religion!

Proving that the fruit of death is bore of religion's way,
Because life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

And that is but one of a multitude of reasons why "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of", and especially so because of those systems of religion that declare that they are biblically based!

Pagan catholicism, her multitude of harlot christian('jesus') daughters, all muslim sects, and the many judaic systems of this day, all propagate lies, delusion, deception, confusion and every evil work!

Was not biblical religion established for a "disobedient and gainsaying(greedy, covetous) people" who were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears"? Those who would rather "a man speak to them than YHVH", and who wanted "a man to rule over them rather than The One and Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL"?

"Our Father", HE knew, and yet knows the desires of a man's heart!

Father Help! and HE does.......

What of The Faithful?

The Faithful seek and desire HIS help!

And why would The Faithful create a system of religion?

For what are brothers and sisters if not Family?

And are not The Faithful the children of GOD, HE WHO is "Our Father", and "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Ephesians 3:15)

And are not those of and in "The Family of GOD(Our Father)" but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", for their "citizenship(Life) is in Heaven"?

Why would "aliens and pilgrims" create a system of religion, or love this world and it's things? Why would they love their own(self,"I") life in and of this wicked, evil world?

And so The Call yet resounds, "Come Out of her, MY people!"

"Come Out" of the systems that are of this wicked, evil world(babylon) and especially it's systems of religion!

Be of those who "forsake all," "Yes! and their own life also", just as The Messiah did!

Be in , yet not of this wicked world indeed and Truth!

Father Help! and HE does.......

http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Simple-and-Spiritual-Life/208339295850609

asimpleandspirituallife.org

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......

Thankfully Truth IS, a lie never was and is not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

Bob said...

Elderchild,
You are "out there". Your completely specious premise that Christian "religion" is responsible for millions of deaths is a delusion. Have there been wicked church leaders in the Catholic or Protestant traditions which caused millions to die? Yes. But it has nothing to do with the "religion". It is the character defects of those people and their followers. They would (rightly) say that they are following the Bible. Of course, it is their interpretation of the Bible. You actually gloss over the most important point. If God is speaking to men through a prophet, following the Biblical model, then there is definitely a "religion", i.e., recognition of and devotion to God. The attempt to make "religion" a hollow or dirty ward indicating mere form and intellect and not conversion and devotion is a false restatement of the meaning of the word.

BTW, non-Christian "religions" such as Communism, Socialism, and Nazi's ( a form of socialism) have killed FAR MORE people than those with driven by a closely held religious belief.

Thanks for writing,
Bob

ElderChild said...

Was not biblical religion established for a "disobedient and gainsaying(greedy,covetous) people" who were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears"? Those who would rather "a man speak to them than YHVH", and who wanted "a man to rule over them rather than The Only True GOD"?

"Our Father", HE knew and HE yet knows the desires of a man's heart!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Why would Faith create a system of religion?

What of The Faithful?

And what are brothers and sisters of the same Father if not Family?

And are not The Faithful the children of GOD(Our Father)? "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Ephesians 3:15)

And are not those of and in "The Family of GOD" but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", because they have realized "their citizenship(Life) is in Heaven"?

Why would "aliens and pilgrims" create a system of religion?

Why would they love this world, it's things, and their own life in the world?

And The Call yet resounds, "Come Out of her, MY people!"

"Come Out" of the systems that are of this wicked, evil world(babylon) and especially it's systems of religion!

Be of those who "forsake all, yes, and their own life also", just as The Messiah did!

Be in , yet not of this wicked world indeed and Truth!

Have your portion in, and be of The Family of GOD!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......(1 John 5:19)

Thankfully Truth IS, a lie never was and it not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

Bob said...

Francis:
No, Biblical religion was not "established for a "disobedient and gainsaying(greedy,covetous) people" who were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears"? Those who would rather "a man speak to them than YHVH", and who wanted "a man to rule over them rather than The Only True GOD"?"
Depending upon when you want to put that stick in the ground about when a Biblical religion was created, it was originally given to Moses as follows:

"4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” " Exodus 19:4-6

I think that pretty much refutes everything you asserted. Continuing revelation, through prophets and Apostles, has led to adaptations through different eras of the Church, but the Church was always intended to be a vehicle to help change people into God's people. It was not an act by man to institutionalize his pride and worldliness.

You really do seem hung up on the issue of religion, which does have as its core meaning devotion to God. As James says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world".

If James and God don't have a problem with "religion", why do you?
Peace,
Bob

ElderChild said...

James 1:27 bears witness to "pure religion and undefiled religion"!

Simply, all other religion is impure and defiled!

Hopefully one day you would receive of The Truth concerning the "Fatherless and widows" bore witness of in James 1:27.......

Why would Faith create a system of religion?

What of The Faithful?

And what are brothers and sisters of the same Father if not Family?

And are not The Faithful the children of GOD(Our Father)? "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Ephesians 3:15)

And are not those of and in "The Family of GOD" but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", because they have realized "their citizenship(Life) is in Heaven"?

Why would "aliens and pilgrims" create a system of religion?

Why would they love this world, it's things, and their own life in the world?

And The Call yet resounds, "Come Out of her, MY people!"

"Come Out" of the systems that are of this wicked, evil world(babylon) and especially it's systems of religion!

Be of those who "forsake all, yes, and their own life also", just as The Messiah did!

Be in , yet not of this wicked world indeed and Truth!

Have your portion in, and be of The Family of GOD!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......(1 John 5:19)

Thankfully Truth IS, a lie never was and it not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

Big Mac said...

On Hebrews 5:8-9, the lifelong perfect obedience of Jesus provides the basis for eternal salvation and for the ultimate “perfection” of those who respond in faith and obedience (10:14; 11:40; 12:23; cf. 7:19; 9:9; 10:1)- obedience not being the means to salvation, but the result, or byproduct, thereof. Christ is not the author of salvation to all men (every single person who ever lived throughout all time); all men do not obey him; all those whom Christ saves, he brings them to an obedience to himself; for his obedience for them does not exempt them from obedience to him, though their obedience is no cause of their salvation; Christ himself is the alone author of that.

I would like to hear your exegesis of Romans 3:20, which says, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”

What of Romans 4:4-6, which states, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works”?

How about Romans 9:15-16, “For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”?

What is your take on Romans 11:6? “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”

These are but a few I’ve picked out from only ONE of the epistles. I could go on all day, but, for the sake of a more manageable response from you, I have selected only a few for you to face. The Old and New Testament overflow with these. I would expect a response to each of these, individually, if you are meaning to establish a works based salvation. Paul even writes of people who attempt to maintain a works based salvation in Romans 10:3-4 when speaking of many Jews who held this claim- “ For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Bob said...

Big Mac,
Thanks for the comments. I must first comment that your exegesis of Hebrews 5:8-9 is repudiated by the words in the passage itself. You write: "obedience not being the means to salvation, but the result, or byproduct, thereof"

But the passage states: "he [Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
I believe your explanation is incompatible with the plain meaning of the passage, and is a great example of the theological position of "grace alone through faith alone" over riding the words of the text of the Bible.

That said, let me address the other passages you posit.

"Works of the Law" is a technical term for a set of regulations which were widely known and understood during the New Testament period, and was found among the documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The idea involved twenty or so "works" which could be accomplished by a devout individual wholly apart from faith in God or His Messiah, essentially enabling a person to save themselves without the need for an Atonement by God. Thus, to save oneself by Works of the Law is a false and damnable doctrine, and completely at odds to LDS doctrine, the false statements made by Anti-Mormons to the contrary about our faith not withstanding. The idea is the Law establishes what sin is in the minds of those who know the Law. Once we have sin, we are incapable of saving ourselves. Only a propitiation for our sins could bring us back to sinlessness in the eyes of God, not self-promulgated ordinances which require no faith. However, as numerous passages such as Romans 10:16 point out, faith is manifested by our obedience. It should not be lost on anyone that Paul makes explicit the fact that Obedience IS Faith manifested in our lives, and does so in the SAME letter which is supposedly all about Grace only salvation through faith.
(Continue below)

Bob said...

Martin Abegg's article in Biblical Archaeology Review in Nov-Dec 1994 provides a great primer on the subject of "Works of the Law". You can look up various articles on the Internet which discuss the issue, some for and some against. What is not debatable is that at least some of Paul's rhetoric is based on this concept, if not entirely. The detractors make their case by stating that "Works of the Law" in the Dead Sea Scrolls is too narrow for the broader application used by Paul. Because, I guess, Paul could never take a concept and expand on it because no one ever took a rule out of the Law of Moses and turned it into a broader, unrelated concept (tongue firmly in cheek).

Big Mac said...

Bob, would you say that your beliefs are consistent with the teaching of Lorenzo Snow that, "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become."?

Big Mac said...

The Law is the do's and don’ts of moral behavior. It consists of the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), rules for social life (Exodus 21:1-23:33), and rules for the worship of God (Exodus 25:1-31:18). It was a covenant of works between God and man and was (and is) unable to deliver us into eternal fellowship with the Lord. The Law is a difficult taskmaster because it requires that we maintain a perfect standard of moral behavior. And then when we fail, the Law condemns us to death. Works do not earn us salvation or play any part of it. The Bible says that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law (Romans 3:28).
If what you say is true- that the law was simply, “a technical term for a set of regulations which were widely known and understood during the New Testament period”, then how was it that Paul held that the law exposed and gave knowledge of sin? Romans 3:20 was the first verse I brought up, and your response did not address that.

Bob said...

Looking at Romans 4:4-6, I like the attempt to take a verse which is discussing Abraham's righteousness through Faith as if it said Abraham did not do anything. That is not what Paul is saying, nor is it what the Old Testament says. As translated by the NIV (granted, it is the OT, which pretty much no Evangelical reads in context :-) ):
"The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Did you figure out why he is going to be blessed with numberless posterity? "because you obeyed me." Now he did obey out of an act of faith, believing God would provide the Ram, or more precisely, that God would not unrighteously take his son from him. But he secured the blessing because of obedience.

Put more directly, Abraham acts in Faith. Faith is the motivation. It is a principle of action. Not to put God into debt, but trusting God that He is righteous. There would be no accounting to Abraham for righteousness if he had not acted on that faith. Faith was the basis for his obedience, but it was in fact his obedience which took the promise to its fruition.

ElderChild said...

Faith IS, and The Faithful will not create a religion for The Faithful ARE Family!

And you do have a choice!

The Family of "Our Father and GOD" -or- a system of religion?

"Choose wisely"!

As for the numerous and varied systems of religion ;-(

History, up to and including this present moment in time, has proven and yet proves, that multiplied millions have been killed and enslaved in the name of the god[s] of this, or that, religion!

So it is that the fruit of death is bore of religion's way,
Because life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

And that is but one of a multitude of reasons why "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of", and especially so because of those systems of religion that declare that they are biblically based!

Pagan catholicism, her multitude of harlot christian('jesus') daughters, all muslim sects, and the many judaic systems of this day, all propagate lies, delusion, deception, confusion and every evil work!

Was not biblical religion established for a "disobedient and gainsaying(greedy, covetous) people" who were "stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart and ears"? Those who would rather "a man speak to them than YHVH", and who wanted "a man to rule over them rather than The One and Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL"?

"Our Father and GOD", thankfully HE is Merciful!

So repentance and regeneration can be experienced by those who receive "a love of The Truth" for they will desire naught but to hear HIS Voice!

And they realize evermore that "Our Father", HE knows what is best for HIS children!

Father Help! and HE does.......

What of The Faithful?

Do not The Faithful seek "Our Father's" Help and desire to do HIS Will?

And does not "Our Father" yet commune with The Faithful?

So why would The Faithful create a system of religion?

Are not brothers and sisters family?

And do not The Faithful brothers and sisters of The Messiah have their portion in The Family of "Our Father and GOD"?

Most certainly!

For The Faithful are the children of "Our Father and GOD", "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Eph 3:15)

The brethren of The Messiah, who are also the sons of GOD, are in and of The Family of "Our Father and GOD", and so it is that we are but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", for we have realized that our "citizenship(Life) is in Heaven"?

Why would "aliens and pilgrims" create a system of religion, or love this world and it's things?

Why would we love our own(self,ego,id,"I") life in and of this wicked, evil world?

And so we continue to sound The Call of "Our Father and GOD" as we exhort others to "Come Out of her, MY people!"

"Come Out" of the systems that are of this wicked, evil world(babylon) and especially it's systems of religion!

Be of those who "forsake all," "Yes! and their own life also", just as The Messiah did!

Be of those who tarry in, yet are not of, this wicked, evil world!

"Aliens and pilgrims while on the earth" indeed and Truth!

Father Help! and HE does.......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE(not just a portion) world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......(1John5:19)

Thankfully Truth IS, a lie never was, and is not.......

Abide in Truth....... francis

http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Simple-and-Spiritual-Life/208339295850609

Bob said...

Elder Child,
Your posts are somewhat delusional. I don't mean to be insulting, but you clearly have some dialog going on in your head which has no context with the external environment in which we all live. Sorry, but I won't be posting any more of your long, rambling, non-scriptural or interacting posts. This is a blog about interacting over LDS doctrine and its critics, not your circular cycle of false dichotomies and attacks on organized religion in a total vacuum outside of scripture.

If you have more focused comments or responses, I will be happy to put those on the blog. But these recent posts are a sideshow I don't think adds anything to the discussion.

Bob said...

Big Mac,
I agree with D&C 76 and 132, 2 Peter 1:4 in teaching that the potential of man is to be like God. I think critics often read too much into Pres. Snow's comment, which is nothing more than a doctrinal synopsis and not scripture nor even a sermon. So I agree with the intent of the statement as far as it goes. It does not speak to the potential differences in the pre-existence life of God and man, etc.

You have misread my statement about the "Works of the Law". It is not "the Law". I understand what the Law is, its origin, what it means to live under the Law, the implications for salvation. That is not the phrase used in Romans 3:20. That phrase in Greek is ergo nomos. It is a specialty term. It has specific meaning, translated here as "deeds of the Law" in the KJV. Because you apparently missed the actual term which is key in the passage, you missed my rather expansive response specifically to the doctrine contained in Rom 3:20.

To restate, Paul denies that engaging in ordinances ("the deeds of the Law") without faith can bring about Justification, because the Law brings a knowledge of sin which cannot be cleansed by our own personal effort, which is what the "deeds of the Law" represent.

I have pointed out at length elsewhere that another line of scriptural teaching which further repudiates the "faith alone, grace alone" false teaching is the fact that according to scripture it was possible to live under the Law and be declared righteous in the eyes of God. Luke 1:6, speaking of Zacharias and Elizabeth, "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." I thought keeping all the commandments was impossible? I thought ordinances were impossible to save, according to the "grace only" crowd? Yet Luke 1:6, which is uncontested by every Christian denomination throughout all of Christian history, states it was precisely the act of doing these things which made them righteous. How can that be?

Because they did it in faith. Remember, Luke was Paul's mission companion. He was there with Paul as he wrote his letter to the Romans. So you cannot say he would not have thoroughly understood the doctrine of the Church. He just teaches a doctrine which is 180 degrees at odds with the "faith only, grace only" position. He is not endorsing "deeds of the Law" as the means to salvation. But he is explicitly teaching that man can be made righteous in God's eyes through keeping the commandments, which he asserts can be done, and through receiving and performing ordinances as directed by God.

I hope this clears this up for you. Thanks again for writing.
Bob

Anonymous said...

I so wished the LDS church was true. To have such an amazing organization that takes away all the challenging aspects of true faith. To know, that a system of council is readily available with a simple request to someone in the know. A network of priest and bishops that are unwavering in the purest of reasoning and that I can access at anytime. A place of peace, comfort, joy, and love. Something tangible. Then I realized that all this is found in the fulfillment of Yeshua/Jesus and His work on the CROSS. I truly wanted the LDS to be true. But, its not because its unnecessary. HE finished IT. He said so. Thats what HE meant when HE said "IT IS FINISHED". Thats the true church my friends. Everything has been fulfilled. Thank you Jesus for doing all the work. Show my friends on this website who You really are.Open their eyes that they may see and their ears that they may hear. Introduce Yourself to them like only You can Father.

weston krogstadt said...

I'm waiting for your next post:)